CIO Talk

Digital in your DNA

Authored by: Prateek Pashine, President – Enterprise, Tata Teleservices

Do you feel too much is happening around you and you can barely keep up? You are not alone! The world is changing. And digital technologies are driving these changes at such speeds that keeping up can be exhausting. From, to be or not to be digital, which was the quintessential question just few quarters back, the million dollar challenge currently plaguing companies is HOW to be digital. Companies across sectors have realised the potential that digital offers. However, they are looking for help to navigate this unknown journey better.

The key drivers for wanting to go digital may vary from business to business – for some it could be to stay relevant to their customers, while for others it could be harnessing operational efficiencies, and so on. But whatever the reason, any business that wants to be digital, needs to first create a Digital Organization.

One way to jumpstart the digital journey is to get an expert like a Chief Digital Officer at the helm, who can help create and deliver the digital blueprint. Trends indicate that 60% of businesses will appoint a new senior executive to drive the company’s digital vision and initiatives.  It is estimated that over 20% of Indian companies are opting for the CDO position compared to 9% worldwide. But hiring a CDO is not a complete solution in itself. Digital organisations require skills that are invariably absent in today’s businesses. Data Scientists, UX Specialists, Social Anthropologists, are some of the roles that will shape the digital future of a business. So, how does a manufacturing company that has shop-floor workers, and corporate functions including Sales, go about incubating a Digital team and then hiring these resources? While many companies are creating a separate unit to steer their digital agendas, when will this become mainstream? How can we reduce the divide between digitally naïve organisation and the digitally savvy? Will we see reverse mentoring programs where the Millennials will impart digital knowledge to senior folks in the organization?

Hence, “Digital in your DNA”. You are likely to hear businesses talk and discuss this phenomenon in the coming years. Companies that are Digitally mature, or ahead of the curve, will bring to bear the true power of digital and will win over those who are yet to start this journey. While technology is a change agent, it is important to put people and processes above technology. At the end of the day, true transformation will take place only when every employee truly “walks the Digital talk”.

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